As an art lover you’ll love Rotterdam! Next to beautiful architecture, street art and great events, Rotterdam also offers lots of renowned museums.
In Rotterdam you will find world-famous museums such as the Kunsthal or Boijmans van Beuningen, but also small museums, art institutions and art galleries that are certainly worth a visit.
That is why, in addition to great museums, you will also find other art institutions in Rotterdam in this article, all in alphabetical order. In addition, this article also contains other useful tips, such as child-friendly museums, underground galleries and even interesting artists from Rotterdam.
A day at the museum is the ideal daytime activity when it’s raining in Rotterdam. Have fun!
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All art institutions in Rotterdam in a row
1. Atlas Van Stolk
Atlas is a 19th century term for collection. Atlas Van Stolk has a collection with almost 250,000 images about Dutch history, making it one of the most important national image collections in our country.
Abraham van Stolk was a Rotterdam timber merchant with a passion for national history. His collection includes prints, drawings, photos and posters. After the collection became too large to be kept at home, the Abraham van Stolk family lent the collection to the Municipality of Rotterdam. The collection is now a public collecting and located in the Schielandshuis in Rotterdam.
Korte Hoogstraat 31, 3011 GK Rotterdam
2. Belasting & Douane Museum
At the Belasting & Douane Museum (Tax & Customs Museum) you learn about taxes and get acquainted with Customs work from then and now. The surprising collection includes more than 45,000 objects including paintings, silverware, official costumes and uniforms, smuggling objects, photos and more.
Various temporary exhibitions can be seen throughout the year. There is also plenty to do for children, such as craft activities, workshops and treasure hunts!
Parklaan 14-16, 3016 BB Rotterdam
3. Boijmans van Beuningen
Boijmans van Beuningen is a world-famous museum in Rotterdam and a favorite of many Rotterdammers. Therefore it’s very unfortunate that the museum will close for seven years due to renovation. But the fact that the Boijmans van Beuningen building is closing does not mean that you can no longer admire the collection. During the renovation you can see the collection in many other places in our city (and beyond).
The programming continues as usual and you can admire part of the famous museum collection at eight neighbors in 11 exhibitions and in Rotterdam school classes.
Museumpark 18, 3015 CX Rotterdam
Former AVL Mundo was founded in 2008 by sculptor Joep van Lieshout, whose transgressive practice over the past three decades has shed light on what a foundation of tomorrow might look like. AVL Mundo has continued as an art institution under the name BRUTUS since 2022.
In Brutus, work from the international art world is interspersed with talent yet to be discovered. All art disciplines pass by here: from sculpture to performance, from drawing to video.
BRUTUS uses its architecture, a labyrinth of challenging spaces, as a collaborative material for its multidisciplinary program. The art institution is now 6000 square meters in size with a sculpture park, residence and awards the BRUTUS prize. BRUTUS exists to create a space where anything is possible for artists to explore, dream big and build even bigger.
Keileweg 10-18, 3029 BS Rotterdam
5. Chabot museum
The Chabot Museum is located next to the New Institute and opposite the famous Boijmans van Beuningen. It is a villa from the 1930s in which you can admire the work of the Rotterdam Henk Chabot (1894-1949), an expressionist painter and sculptor.
In addition, there are exhibitions to admire in the Chabot Museum, with movements such as Modernism and Bauhaus.
Museumpark 11, 3015 CB Rotterdam
6. CONTOUR GALLERY
In 2017, Muriel founded Mager Contour Gallery, driven by her love for photography and modern art. This art gallery is located in Rotterdam West, right next to the center, in a side street of the Nieuwe Binnenweg.
Contour Gallery specializes in photography and sculpture. A diverse program is offered, consisting mainly of solo exhibitions by artists affiliated with the gallery.
Josephstraat 164, 3014 TX Rotterdam
7. Depot Boijmans van Beuningen
Depot Boijmans van Beuningen is the very first art depot in the world that is actually accessible to the public. Walk around and admire between 151,000 art objects and watch the conservation and restoration of art.
Everyone should see the big shiny coffee cup in Museumpark! It is already an icon in our city due to its reflective exterior and special architecture. In addition, visitors and residents can go to the freely accessible roof garden with restaurant to enjoy the view over Rotterdam.
Don’t expect any exhibitions, but in the Depot you can browse through all the art objects and sometimes you can watch the conservation and restoration of art.
Melkkoppad 15, 3015 CR Rotterdam
8. Dutch Pinball Museum
In the Dutch Pinball Museum you can find more than 100 pinball machines. The pinball machines come from the year 1900 to today, every generation recognizes something from its youth in this museum!
In addition to playing on the pinball machines, you can wander around here and enjoy the view with a drink. A super fun interactive museum for young and old.
Voorhaven 12, 3024 RM Rotterdam
9. Feyenoord Museum
A real Feyenoord fan? Then you should definitely pay a visit to the Feyenoord Museum. This museum can be found in De Kuip, on the Olympia side of the stadium. In the museum you can admire an impressive timeline of the history of Feyenoord and the stadium.
The museum can only be seen in combination with a tour of De Kuip. During the tour you will visit the dressing room of the players and you will feel like a real Feyenoord player when you walk through the players tunnel.
Van Zandvlietplein 1, 3077 AA Rotterdam
In FutureLand you can learn more about the development of the newest port area of Rotterdam and you can view the world’s most modern container terminals and largest sea-going vessels. In addition, FutureLand shows the latest innovations in offshore, such as new forms of energy.
Europaweg 902, 3199 LC Maasvlakte, Rotterdam
11. Garage Rotterdam
Garage Rotterdam is an exhibition center for contemporary art. Four exhibitions are held annually. In addition, events such as lectures, performances and concerts are regularly organized here as a supplement to the exhibitions in Garage Rotterdam.
Goudsewagenstraat 27, 3011 RH Rotterdam
12. GALERIE ATELIER HERENPLAATS
Art is for everyone. Galerie Atelier Herenplaats is committed to this notion and that is really nice to see. Herenplaats is the location for artists with a special story. Every day, around 35 artists visit this studio, people with visual talent and an intellectual disability or psychiatric background.
Herenplaats was founded in 1991 and has developed an adapted art training for artists with a special story. Classes are given by visual artists and visual arts teachers. When the students successfully complete the academy, they move on to the artists’ collective.
Schietbaanstraat 1, 3014 ZT Rotterdam
13. Houweling Telecommuseum
The Houweling Telecom Museum was built in 1923 as a telephone central for Rotterdam Noord and nowadays it still has the same function.
The history of telephones is what makes a visit to the Houweling Telecom Museum special. In the museum you will also find many old telephones, telephone booths, telephone exchanges, telexes, faxes, radio distribution, but also clocks, cables and measuring equipment for cable disturbances and mobile telephony.
Vlaggemanstraat 15, 3038 LA Rotterdam
14. Huis Sonneveld
Sonneveld House is a detached villa from 1933 and is one of the best preserved houses in the New Bouwen style. It was designed by architects Brinkman and Van der Vlugt on behalf of Albertus Sonneveld, one of the directors of the Van Nelle factory.
Jongkindstraat 12, 3015 CG Rotterdam
15. Kijk-Kubus Museum home
Have you always wanted to know what a Cube House looks like on the inside? That is possible in the Kijk-Kubus, a furnished museum home in the Blaakse Bos.
Overblaak 70, 3011 MH Rotterdam
16. Kunsthal Rotterdam
Every Rotterdammer has been here at least once in his life. The building of the Kunsthal was designed in 1988-1989 by the world-famous architect Rem Koolhaas and the building is one of the icons of Rotterdam.
At the Kunsthal there are always various, high-profile exhibitions to visit. From modern, contemporary art to forgotten cultures, photography, fashion and design, there is something for every target group!
The Kunsthal is located on the edge of the Museum Park, where you can find a lot of other interesting museums as well.
Museumpark, Westzeedijk 341, 3015 AA Rotterdam
17. Kunstinstituut Melly
Kunstinstituut Melly shares a building on Witte de Withstraat with TENT. Melly’s mission is to present and discuss the ideas and work of contemporary visual artists and culture makers. That is why they organize exhibitions, commission art and publish and develop educational and collaborative projects.
Art Institute Melly was previously called ‘Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art’. In 2021 the name was officially changed to Kunstinstituut Melly.
The old name is the same as the street of the institute, namely the well-known cultural Witte de Withstraat. The street’s namesake is Witte Corneliszoon de With, a 17th-century naval officer who served in the Dutch East India Company and the Dutch West India Company. These two companies were of great importance to the colonial expansion of the Netherlands.
With the name change, Kunstinstituut Melly shows that it is important to address larger conversations about decolonization, representation and dissonant heritage in the Netherlands.
Witte de Withstraat 50, 3012 BR Rotterdam
In the Marines Museum you can learn everything about the origins and history of the Marine Corps. Visit one of the many interesting exhibitions, exhibitions or one of the children’s activities.
Wijnhaven 7-13, 3011 WH Rotterdam
Discover the enormous influence of the maritime world on our daily lives in the Maritime Museum Rotterdam. Visit the contemporary exhibitions, participate in one of the many activities, listen to the stories and admire masterpieces from the collection.
Tip: buy your ticket for the Maritime Museum here!
Leuvehaven 1, 3011 EA Rotterdam
20. MURALS INC.
Murals Inc. is a Rotterdam bureau for contemporary murals, working throughout the Netherlands. They are committed to outdoor murals. Think, for example, of works of art in which the imagination of the viewer is put to the test.
This bureau is located in Rotterdam South. Murals Inc. shows a new mural show every three months, based on a specific theme, in their gigantic 600m2 space. The themes emphasise different movements and painting styles.
Piekstraat 31 18, 3071 EL Rotterdam
21. Museum Rotterdam
Unfortunately, the above location is closed, but Museum Rotterdam at the Coolhaven can still be visited.
The name says it all, but Museum Rotterdam is the museum of our city. In this museum you can admire historical pieces that together with new works tell the story of our city and its inhabitants, from the settlement on the Rotte to a modern metropolis.
In the museum you can find much more than historical objects from Rotterdam, because the museum also displays what is happening in our city right now. Think of performances with objects, photos and videos from contemporary Rotterdammers. Museum Rotterdam creates a bridge between then, now and later in a creative way. Themes such as work, care, migration and innovation are the common thread running through the collection.
Coolhaven 375, 3015 GC Rotterdam
Do you love trains? Then visit the Museumstoomdepot of Stoomstichting Nederland in the Kralingse Bos. Here you will find an exhibition space with a model railway, a workshop where volunteers are working with steam locomotives and a lot of objects related to trains and railways.
Rolf Hartkoornweg 50, 3034 KL Rotterdam
23. Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam
The Natural History Museum of Rotterdam has been located on the Land van Hoboken on the Westzeedijk since 1987. Here you can learn everything about insects, fish, birds, mammals, shells and plants.
Westzeedijk 345, 3015 AA Rotterdam
24. The Nieuwe Instituut
Het Nieuwe Instituut (the New Institute) is a museum for architecture, design and digital culture. Here they organize exhibitions, debates, workshops and more activities about different design disciplines. By experimenting yourself, children (and adults of course!) can become acquainted with innovative materials, techniques and ideas.
Museumpark 25, 3015 CB Rotterdam
25. Nederlands Fotomuseum
At the Nederlands Fotomuseum (Dutch photomuseum) visitors can admire international exhibitions about photography. The museum is located in the industrial building Las Palmas, which was once the workplace of the Holland-America Line.
Their permanent exhibition Hall of Fame of Dutch Photography features 100 photos of iconic value. The photos together tell the story from the beginning of photography in the Netherlands to the present day (1841-2021).
Las Palmas, Wilhelminakade 332, 3072 AR Rotterdam
Something completely different from a museum! Visit the newest interactive experience in Rotterdam: Remastered. In this attraction you will be taken on an audiovisual journey for an hour and you will become one with the art.
Walk under a waterfall, go on an adventure with the unearthly creatures of Hieronymus Bosch, learn time travel and surround yourself with paintings by Dutch Old Masters such as Van Gogh and Mondriaan. Each time you enter a new world and you don’t know what to expect.
Buy your entrance ticket to Remastered here.
Willemsplein 79, 3016 DR Rotterdam
27. RONALD HUNTER PAINTINGS
Ronald Hunter is a Dutch artist with a focus on abstract and modern paintings. His work screams colour and texture. Ronald has a graphic design background, which is reflected in his work in the form of graphic art and typography. He has his own gallery on the Beukelsdijk in Rotterdam West.
Beukelsdijk 102-B, 3022 DK Rotterdam
Roodkapje was founded in 2000 by Eric den Hartigh. Over the years it has grown into a multidisciplinary platform for presentation and talent support for young artists, musicians, performers and programmers in Rotterdam.
Visit Little Red Riding Hood for music, exhibitions and food; there is an exhibition space, music venue and hamburger restaurant (Burgertrut). Everything together under one roof!
Delftseplein 39, 3013 AA Rotterdam
From antique chess games to popular film figures and from folklore to abstract artworks, you can see it all in the Schaakstukkenmuseum (Chess Pieces Museum) in Rotterdam. The museum comprises the own collection of founder Ridder Dijkshoorn and the collection of Mr M.J. Glotzbach. In addition, there are various exhibitions to admire.
Overblaak 94, 3011 MH Rotterdam
30. De Tijdtrap
During the construction of the Markthal, many historical objects were found in the ground of the construction site during the excavation. It is possible to admire these historical items at the escalators in the middle of the Markthal. This is appropriately called De Tijdtrap (meaning the Time Stairs).
Ds J. Scharpstraat 298, 3011 GZ Rotterdam
The Trammuseum is housed in the former tram depot Hillegersberg of the RET on the Kootsekade. The Trammuseum’s collection is very extensive and includes 140 years of Rotterdam public transport history. In addition to historic trams, there are historic buses and the oldest preserved metro in the Netherlands, dating from 1966.
The depot in Hillegersberg is also the operating base for the journeys with historic trams that regularly run through the city, such as the Citytour Line 10, the Snerttram or the Bijnamentour. The trams are maintained in their own workshop in the depot.
Visit the shop in the museum, where you can buy books and other tram-related items. On the inner terrace you can eat and drink between the museum trams with historical film images in the background. There is a fun museum treasure hunt for the children!
Behind the scenes of the museum is the RoMeO Foundation (Rotterdam Public Transport Museum and exploitation of Oldtimers), which, with about 150 volunteers, takes care of the heritage of Rotterdam’s public transport.
Please note: the Trammuseum will be closed from November 6, 2021. They are expected to reopen in the spring of 2022.
Kootsekade 19, 3051 PC Rotterdam
32. Villa Zebra
Villa Zebra is a children’s museum with contemporary visual art. Visit Villa Zebra for interactive exhibitions and art installations, art workshops and reading afternoons.
Stieltjesstraat 21, 3071 JV Rotterdam
The Wereldmuseum is a contemporary museum with the mission to inspire to have an open view of the world and contribute to global citizenship.
The World Museum is partially closed at the time of writing, because the museum is being renewed. So be sure to visit the website to check if there’s an exhibition to visit.
Willemskade 25, 3016 DM Rotterdam
Underground art galleries in Rotterdam
Above you have already spotted a number of cool art galleries, such as Contour Gallery, Ronald Hunting Paintings and Galerie Atelier Herenplaats, but there are even more cool underground art galleries in Rotterdam. Because in addition to major museums such as Kunsthal Rotterdam, Depot Boijmans van Beuningen and Kunstinstituut Melly, there are many galleries with a more underground cult status.
Our blogger Kim Longwood knows all about it and has even written an article with 10 underground art galleries in Rotterdam!
Kid friendly museums in Rotterdam
Museums are great fun and educational. However, not every museum is suitable for children. Fortunately, there are plenty of museums for children in Rotterdam.
Consider, for example, the Maritime Museum, one of the most child-friendly museums in Rotterdam. The museum aims to raise awareness of the great influence of the maritime world on daily life. There are fun and educational exhibitions for children of various ages, such as the exhibition ‘Sea Monsters’ (4+), ‘Offshore Experience’ (8+) and ‘Dealing with drugs’ (14+).
Or go to Villa Zebra, the children’s museum of Rotterdam. In this museum, children can get acquainted with art by interacting with it.
Our blogger Melissa Moncada Castillo wrote a nice blog about it. Handy to read if you are looking for a fun museum for kids in Rotterdam!
Interesting Rotterdam artists
Do you want to know more about local artists from Rotterdam? Maybe you even want to buy some local art?
The fact that Rotterdam breathes art and culture is not unknown to many residents of this creative city. You can’t turn a street corner without spotting a wall illustration or wall poem.
Of course there are also a lot of interesting artists in Rotterdam. Whether it concerns a painting, illustration, sculpture or window drawing, you will never go wrong in Rotterdam. There are artists walking around with talent that blows you away.
Our blogger Kim Longwood listed interesting Rotterdam artists to keep an eye on.
A lot of information about everything art and culture and museums in Rotterdam! Do you already know where you will get your dosis of arts and culture?